Peace in abstract: Re-integration of internally displaced persons in Northeastern Nigeria and its emerging socio-economic challenges
Keywords:internally displaced persons, Nigeria, peace, reintegration
This study examines the challenges associated with the re-integration of internally displaced people in Boko Haram insurgency-ravaged Northeast Nigeria. It traces the root cause of socio-political and ethno-religious conflicts in Nigeria to 1914, when the British colonial administration merged the incompatible Protectorate of Northern Nigeria and the Colony and Protectorate of Southern Nigeria as one entity. After the return to democracy in 1999, the country witnessed growing insecurity, culminating in the growth of ethno-religious militias and separatist groups, including the dreaded Boko Haram terrorist sect, whose activities led to the deaths of many and the displacement of about two million people. The objectives of the study were to examine the ethno-religious conflicts that culminated in the Boko Haram sect in Nigeria; highlight the activities of the Boko Haram insurgency that resulted in the killing of many and the displacement of about 2 million people; investigate the socio-economic challenges associated with the reintegration of IDPs after the dislodgement Boko Haram from its last stronghold/enclave; and to offer a sustainable strategy for the enduring reintegration of IDPs. The study adopted social conflict and Galtung structural violence theories as its framework and used Timeline Conflict Analysis and the Conflict Tree to trace the trend of conflict in Nigeria, its causes and its effects. The study concluded that in spite of the supposed defeat of Boko Haram, the peace witnessed in Northeastern Nigeria is, in abstract, not real and does not exist and recommends a strategy in which IDPs, especially women and youths, will be economically equipped in trade and vocations while in IDP camps, aimed at a smooth reintegration that can sustain economic independence for themselves and their families.
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